Post Production Technology: Time Remapping

A new trend being used in post-production for music videos and films today is a tool called ‘time remapping’. It may sound like something that came from Star Wars, but it’s a tool that adds a unique and powerful way to control not only speed changes, but also the transition from one speed to another.

The time remapping tool may seem like a slow motion tool, but both tools have their differences. With slow motion, you basically just slow down the scene. With time remapping you’re making advanced adjustments to the playback speed over time. For example, if you are using footage of a person walking, you can play footage of the person moving forward, and then play a few frames backward to make the person retreat, and then play forward again to have the person resume walking.

Time remapping is good for combinations of slow motion, fast motion, and reverse motion. Using this tool comes with difficulties with audio and the frames per second of the scene. Because time remapping affects the audio, you have to make sure you put the audio back into the scene when done. And with the frames per second, if you have footage shot at 30fps you will be very limited to how much slower you can make the playback before it starts to stutter. This is why you may want to consider shooting at a higher frame rate when possible. Working with video camera that shoot high speed from 60 fps to 250 frames per second work great.

The cinematic style of time remapping is used more often for music videos, commercials and edgy films. Time remapping provides an artistic way to manipulate time and gives you the flexibility to simply change the speed of a clip, whether you want to slow down or speed up the video. This creative style produces a visually stimulating effect, useful for storytelling.

Here is an example of time remapping that showcases how unique it can be:

Time Remapping – Sword Dance from Daniel Nienhuis on Vimeo.

By Roddel Abalos

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